The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by fighting predatory lending practices. Their vision is inspired by hard-won victories in civil rights and consumer protections over the last 50 years and is rooted in the belief that everyone deserves an equal chance to achieve the American Dream.
In the late 1990’s, many lenders began pushing egregious loans designed to strip hard-earned home equity and destroy neighborhoods. Mortgage borrowers from Self-Help Credit Union, a Durham NC-based community development lender, started to return to the credit union to ask for help after being refinanced out of their affordable Self-Help loans and into the equity-stripping loans. In response, Self-Help built a coalition to help pass the North Carolina [Anti-] Predatory Lending Law in 1999, the first such law in the country. Following this success and seeking to provide expertise in other states, Self-Help founded CRL in Durham in 2002.
Since its founding, CRL has fought against some of the worst predatory lending abuses affecting people of color, women, rural residents, military service members and low-to-moderate wealth families and communities. While initially focused on abusive mortgage lending practices, CRL expanded its focus to include payday lending, student debt, high-cost overdraft charges on bank accounts, and more. Within four years of its founding, CRL established offices in Washington, DC and Oakland, CA to address Congressional and regulatory activity, improve their ability to support activities in Western states, and influence national lending markets through improved regulation in California.
Additionally, CRL has extensive experience in building effective, persuasive coalitions, with partners such as the AARP, NAACP, and other leading Civil Rights, legal aid and housing groups. Through research, policy analysis, coalition-building and our legal and regulatory expertise, CRL works to eliminate abusive lending and barriers to economic opportunity so that everyone has access to a fair and open financial services marketplace.
Learn more about the work CRL is doing by visiting their website: https://www.responsiblelending.org/